“Let us not be too particular; it is better to have old secondhand diamonds than none at all.” Mark Twain

Today, I want to hear about you.

Do you have a favorite secondhand item in your life? A perfect pair of jeans? A useful tool you couldn’t find anywhere else? Or a book that falls open to the previous owner’s special passage?

Write a note about a secondhand item you’ve had and send it to me here (or subscribers, simply hit reply to this email.) Include a photo too, if you wish. I will publish your writing (along with your first name, location, and photo, if provided) in next week’s blog installment.

I’ll get us started…

When I first spied it on a rack at Salvation Army in 2007, I saw the marriage of versatility and style. The long gray sweater was perfect: soft, not too thick, not fussy like cashmere or scratchy like wool. The washing instructions were a breeze; it could even go in the dryer. I imagined it as another layer for a winter ensemble, a jacket for a cool spring evening, a swimsuit cover-up in the summer, fall’s perfect accessory. I snapped it up and wore it like I’d never take it off. Sometimes I even slept in it.

The family noticed.

“You’ll wear that thing anywhere and in any condition,” Husband said the day I got the sweater dirty in the garden, but wore it to Target anyway.

Flicka pointed to a picture of me on a family trip. “Mom, there’s you in your gray sweater. Again.”

“It’s your favorite of all, isn’t it, Mama?” Dicka said.

“Maybe we should bury it with you when you die,” Ricka said, laughing.

And the thought of the family balling the old thing up and tossing it into the casket before it slammed shut warmed my heart.

The sweater this morning. Loved as much today as ever.

The sweater this morning. Loved as much today as ever.

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*Names in this blog have been changed to protect my family, neighbors, and friends in the neighborhood, and in a nod of appreciation to the beloved Swedish author Maj Lindman, I’ve renamed my three blondies Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka.